After you have an overall learning and development plan in place, the next strategy to help retain high-potential employees is to reward and recognize high performance as it occurs. To start, let your high-potential employees know they are special by telling them your plans for them!
Sixty percent of employers don't do this, and their HIPOs have no idea there is a larger plan for their development and future with the organization — a real shame because research indicates 33 percent of HIPOs who are not told of their status and the company's plans their futures will seek jobs at other firms. If they are told, however, the percentage that seeks outside opportunities drops to just 14 percent.
Research by Maritz Motivation produces a similar conclusion: Recognized employees are seven times more likely to want to stay with their organization than those who aren't recognized.
Consider hosting a recognition event for your top performers. These can be national or regional. The event gives management and executive leadership direct interaction with their high performing partners, which can be motivating to both the employee and the manager. These face-to-face opportunities give partners a clear understanding of the organization's brand message and goals for the company.